The Pink-Oink Friend (Pig)- Provider of Everything

“Man thrives where angels would die of ecstasy and where pigs would die of disgust.”

Pigs, aka Swine or Hogs are considered one of the most useful animals across the world. People reap from the benefits of pigs and yet, we know so little about our pink-oink friend.

You might be surprised to learn that India is a net importer of pork, importing almost 500 metric tonnes in 2018. So, how do we benefit from pigs?

  • Despite its high nutritional value and high-quality protein content, Pork, also known as red meat, is one of the unhealthiest foods available. 
  • Bacon, which is made from the meat of a baby pig, is good for bone health, heart health, muscle strength, and lowering blood pressure.
  • Sausages are a great way to get a lot of high-quality protein.
  • Ham is high in protein and a variety of nutrients. However, consuming processed meats like ham on a daily basis may raise your risk of certain malignancies.
  • Pepperoni is a fatty, sticky junk dish that is delicious but harmful.
  • The most popular pig-made commodity is certainly leather. Pig suede is the most prevalent type of leather used to make leather coats and jackets in the apparel business.
  • Pigs are used to make violin strings because they can endure harsh situations in their intestines and are hence ideal for long-term use.
  • Hairbrushes and toothbrushes are made from boars. These products are good for the human scalp, and boar hair is nearly identical to human hair in terms of texture.
  • Oils, particularly glycerin from pigs, are used in the development of explosives and dynamite. The gelatin present in pig bones has been found to aid in the movement of gunpowder into a gun’s bullet up till now.
  • Insulin is used to keep diabetes under control.
  • Surgical valves for the human heart
  • Gelatin for sweet foods

Water filters, insulation, rubber, antifreeze, some plastics, floor waxes, crayons, chalk, adhesives, and fertiliser are all made with swine by-products (USDA, 2016). Lard is a fat derived from the abdomens of pigs that are used in shaving creams, soaps, and cosmetics, among other things.

Fun Facts:

  • Male pigs of any age are referred to as boars, while female pigs are referred to as sows, and baby pigs are referred to as piglets.
  • The pigs’ vision is limited, but they have a keen sense of smell.
  • Pigs have around 20 different noises for different conditions, and they continually interact with one another through their sounds. When trying to court a partner or convey hunger, they employ specific oinks, grunts, or squeals.
  • While nursing their babies, mother pigs sing to them.
  • Pigs, despite their preference for mud, are remarkably clean animals.
  • Pigs are unable to sweat due to a lack of sweat glands, so they roll around in the mud, sleep in it, and swim in it to stay cool. The mud protects the skin of a pig from sunburn.
  • Pigs are the sixth most intellectual mammal on the planet, with the intelligence of a human toddler. They are even clever than dogs and are capable of flawless video game performance.
  • Pigs are excellent navigators and can locate their homes from a vast distance.
  • Pigs dream and like to sleep face to face with their companions and friends.
  • Pigs have incredible memories, especially when it comes to locating objects.
  • Piglets can learn their names as early as two to three weeks old if they are properly trained.
  • They assist in the search for truffles, the world’s most costly food.
  • They also aid in the detection of diseases such as tumours and are frequently employed for testing or growth of human-like tissues to aid humanity.
  • Pigs consume their own poop, but not just their own faeces; they also eat the poop of other animals.

How do Pigs Protect themselves?

  • They use their speed to run as fast as they can from predators. Wild pigs are capable of running up to 30 mph. With walls 5 to 6 feet high, they can jump over fences less than 3 feet tall and have “climbed” from pig traps. 
  • They use their tusks which can both be a weapon and a shield. 
  • They use their thick hides that will make it hard for predators to bite onto their flesh.
  • They also depend on their sense of hearing and excellent sense of smell. 
  • A pig’s intelligence can be their main weapon if not for their physical skills and their senses. 

A domesticated pig’s average lifespan is 15 to 20 years which is way longer than a wild boar’s lifespan of 4 to 8 years. They are truly peaceful creatures and try to stay out of trouble as much as possible.

A Sad Reality:
Like any other domestic animal, Pigs also need love and freedom to grow and evolve. We don’t need to subject them to deplorable living conditions and early death in exchange for food that we don’t require.

Every pig deserves a happy life in which they can rear their offspring and engage in natural behaviours such as hunting for food, cuddling with other pigs, and roaming freely. 

So, next time you see a pig, don’t look away, help them or better stay out of their way.

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